Gospel Thoughts #2 19 June 2011

June 19, 2011 at 09:48 1 comment

In today’s Gospel Story for Trinity Sunday (John 3:16-18) Jesus says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him . . . everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life”. This is not an intellectual exercise we have to do, but a gradual coming aware of the relationship that exists among all creation and Jesus.

This relationship happens in the context of real everyday life. Jesus is not inviting us to let him take us to somewhere else at some later time, eg, taken us to “heaven” after we die. He is inviting us to know him in the real happenings of life every day. Jesus is not inviting us to believe the right things about him, but to believe in him, and to go wherever this takes us. Becoming aware of Jesus as real in our life leads us to know that our life on earth is not a waiting room for a real life that comes later. Real life is now, and what comes later begins here and now.

It is dangerous for us to think we have the only correct understanding of Jesus and that anyone who does not agree with us is wrong and cannot be saved, however we may interpret that. Jesus calls us to life here and now, not later. The only thing we know for certain is life right here and now. Everything else we believe, and it is what we believe that gives insight and direction to our living here and now. When Jesus becomes part of our experience we have to grow, because this is what he is calling us to do.

As we look around at life these days we realize that the old answers we have come to rely on are gone, and we have to find new ones. This is true both in our world and our brand of Christianity. Before we always knew what war was, but now we have to come to grips with terrorism. Before we had good medical care for the times and life span was shorter, but now we have discovered new medical techniques and life is longer, bringing its own sociological implications. In the religious sphere there are many new questions and issues never raised before and to which we have not yet found the answers, eg, ordination of women, mandatory celibacy, use/abuse of authority in the church. There are new readings and interpretations of scripture, and new theologies are beginning to grow. Church demographics are changing as many people simply walk away, and many folks are forming their own intentional praying communities with or without “permission”. Where once there was simple acceptance of what was handed to us as the only way to interpret scripture or believe correctly, there are now many different interpretations clamoring for attention. Life has changed, and life always wins. Life is God revealing Godself to us, and, at least in our tradition, Jesus is guiding us to understand what we are called to be and to do.

Believing in Jesus does not guarantee us anything other than a deeper relationship with him, which in itself is profoundly good. It does not mean we will have an easier or better life. It makes no sense at all to folks who have not tried it, or who have felt safer to believe the right things about Jesus. Believing in Jesus is not a ticket to somewhere else, but a call to life as it is happening right here and now, with these people and these events. Jesus does not call us to cast off those who would disagree with us, but to recognize the good that all of us share together. Jesus would bring all of us to his table, and not exclude folks in certain categories that do not fit with some interpretation of believing the right things about him. We are all important, we are all good, some of us do not know it. Life is good, we are good, and bit by bit, this is what Jesus is teaching us.


Entry filed under: Catholic, Current Church, Gospel thoughts, Priest.

Gospel Thoughts 19 June 2011, Trinity Sunday Gospel Thoughts 26 June 2011

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jim Dubik  |  June 19, 2011 at 14:57

    Jesus would bring all to his table as the Good Shepherd leads his fold as well as those “not of this fold.” He sat with the sinners and outcasts of His time; His was the parable of the good Samaritan. So He does not have acategory that He would exclude. He came, died, and rose for all.

    The Good Shepherd is also the gate. No one who pass through the gate–i.e. accepts Jesus–is excluded. But is there a category who–though Jesus would bring them to His table–are excluded by their choice? It seems that even the self-excluded, however, are always invited by Jesus. Otherwise, so many parables lose their meaning–the one lost sheep and the prodigal son for example.

    So it seems the category of excluded is filled only by those human beings place within it. As such, are we, as Catholic Christians, bound to recognize these categories?


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